Saturday, September 7, 2013


This is a wonderful way to use stale bread when tomatoes are in season. I think it is especially good with lamb shoulder chops that have been cooked on the BBQ. The recipe is from the Williams-Sonoma Savoring Italy cookbook which was written by Michele Scicolone.  I used the amounts given in the recipe as a very rough approximation. A mandolin helps immensely to speed up the chopping of the onion and the cucumber.

2 large/6 small flavorful tomatoes cut into bite-sized pieces
1 small cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, or more if needed
3 tblsps balsamic vinegar, or to taste.
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
6-8 slices stale pain de compagne or other hearty bread, cut or torn into bite-sized pieces
Combine tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and basil in a bowl and drizzle with the oil and vinegar and season with salt and paper. Toss to coat evenly. Place half the bread in a wide, shallow bowl, cover with half the vegetables. Layer on the remaining bread and then the rest of the vegetables. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Toss the salad and then taste and adjust the seasonings. If the bread is dry add a little more oil and or vinegar, to taste. It is ready to serve. If you have leftovers, they still taste great the next day though the salad tastes fresher the first day.

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